Comments: 784 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

Therealjimbobmcgee254 karma

Did you ever contemplate becoming a mercenary for a Private Military Contractor after your time in the special forces? And if so, why didn't you?

MarkRenton93428 karma

I even had an offer from a private military company. But I don't want to have anything to do with killing people anymore.

NakedDuck722214 karma

What was the most shocking thing about when you first joined the special forces ?

MarkRenton93473 karma

I never thought that a person can run so much, jump, pull himself up, push up so much and not die after that.

the_tza208 karma

Is the story about Alexander Prokhorenko true?

Edit- To those who don’t know, Alexander Prokhorenko was the Russian equivalent of a JTAC in combat operations against ISIS in Syria. He was surrounded by ISIS who were advancing on his position. He was alone and called an air strike (or artillery strike, I’m not sure about that) on his own position. He died but also took out a company sized element of ISIS with him. I was in the US Marines for a while and this story was passed around between my friends and I. I have a lot of respect for this guy.

MarkRenton93259 karma

Yes it's true. He is a true hero, but I and all my colleagues hated the fact that our command allowed this.

JuanSellsWhite13 karma

Allowed the air strike? Or gave isis the opportunity to even attack? Cuz wasn’t he very stern about them calling in the air strike? Straight up demanded that they do it, no?

MarkRenton9355 karma

Yes, you can cause an air strike in your position, it is much better than being captured and being beheaded.

photoDries192 karma

How was your adjustment to civilian a lifestyle?

MarkRenton93489 karma

I have not been a soldier for some time, but I'm still not used to a civilian lifestyle. Walk around the city, every time I look at the roofs in search of snipers.

photoDries136 karma

That must be exhausting. I think it's fascinating we hear so many people having problems with adjusting!

MarkRenton93235 karma

Yes, it bothers. I think that I am never completely relaxed, even at home.

boogericky79 karma

I'm truly sorry to hear that. Would you consider therapy for PTSD?

MarkRenton93192 karma

I am being treated by a psychiatrist now and am taking my magic pills. I'm feeling better, but I'm still sick.

mrhardyy19 karma

Have you considered other forms of therapy, like drugs that may be considered recreational (mdma, psilocybin mushrooms)?

MarkRenton93103 karma

I took all the drugs that are in Russia, lol. I would not say that it helped me.

xFuimus131 karma

What practical things did you learn that can be applied to life outside the forces?

MarkRenton93427 karma

Well, I can dig a huge trench, if necessary, lol.

Werstreddituserever128 karma

How was life like in the Special Forces compared to civilian life?

MarkRenton93377 karma

It was a lot easier. I was practically not at home, so I did not need to think about what was happening in politics there, which of the 40 types of tomatoes I should choose for dinner, what was happening with the national currency. When I arrived home, I was constantly in dismay. In the military, everything is much simpler.

perfect_for_maiming114 karma

What was your best moment? What was something that you were really proud of accomplishing during your service?

MarkRenton93293 karma

Well, I did 40 parachute jumps and never shit my pants, although that shit scares me every time.

auxygn89 karma

One of my army buddies told me that he received a medal for not pissing his pants in the face of an armed attack.

MarkRenton93142 karma

And he's a really brave guy, I have to tell you.

KushtyKush104 karma

How are, or were, your views towards the west shaped by your background? Have they changed since you stepped back from the military?

MarkRenton93340 karma

I perceive normally citizens of any country, even if they have a shitty government, they are not to blame for this. Russia also has a bad government, this does not make Russians worse.

KushtyKush59 karma

Thanks for the reply. What would be the biggest misconception by the West about Russia that bothers you the most?

MarkRenton93232 karma

Well, we are not communists, and we do not want the destruction of the whole world and global expansion. and we don’t have bears walking in the streets.

billintreefiddy84 karma

Has anyone from your government contacted you about your posts? Do you have any concern that they will?

MarkRenton93135 karma

No, I did not disclose any secret information. This does not bother me, however, I will say what I think is necessary.

shag37779 karma

Now that you are a civilian, what sorts of hobbies do you enjoy?

MarkRenton93275 karma

I love to drink, lol. Not sure if this is a hobby, rather an addiction.

HarshMuffins74 karma

Would you recommend joining the military to anyone?

MarkRenton93324 karma

On the contrary, I recommend everyone not to join the military, to be honest.

HarshMuffins37 karma

Ah really, Any specific reasons? Because I want to try and join the UK royal armoured corps and commission as an officer.

MarkRenton93357 karma

well, there is a chance that you will fall into a deployment and will kill people. I think this is reason enough.

MrButterfly1963 karma

Are you a native russian or from an ethnic group based in russia?

What do you think about Uprisings (e.g. in the caucasus) on russian soil, do you think these people have a valid point?

MarkRenton93170 karma

I'm a Pole, to be honest. I am the first person from my family who was born in Russia. Nevertheless, I consider myself Russian. I grew up in this country, and I have a Russian mentality. I participated in anti-terrorist operations in the North Caucasus, most of them are terrorists and fanatics who fight for money and creating a state with the Sharia.

plopiplop30 karma

What is a ''Russian mentality'' according to you? Thanks for the Ama :)

MarkRenton93115 karma

Well, I try not to cry in public, I respect women, I am always ready to fight for myself and my loved ones.

some_ether29 karma

Did you serve in Chechnya? If so, what are your views of the current political situation there? Do you feel that the region has reached stability and transformed into a functioning democracy?

Seeing that you were involved in antiterrorism efforts in the Caucuses, I'm curious if you've thought how those efforts have influenced the global war on terror. There are quite obvious parallels been the conflicts you were involved in and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq following 9/11.

Not trying to goat you into an argument or push an agenda. Just interested in hearing the perspectives of a warfighter who has been on the frontlines of a seemingly endless war. Thanks for doing this.

MarkRenton9342 karma

No, I have not been to Chechnya, but I have been to other republics. And there definitely was calmer than before. No longer do they kill policemen on the streets, do not kidnap people, do not detonate bombs. It's hard for me to assess the level of democracy in the North Caucasus, but things are definitely getting better.

ConfidentialX57 karma

Hi u/markrenton93 - saw your previous post but didn't comment. Good to see you again.

What are your thoughts about the British Special Forces? Not specifically SAS but all UKSF.

Did you ever encounter any UKSF whilst serving?

MarkRenton9387 karma

Hi, no, I never encountered the British military, but I heard about their professionalism.

Retireegeorge53 karma

What is the most profound event in the history of Russian special forces?

MarkRenton9380 karma

There are a lot of them, but you can read about alpha, these guys did incredible things.

Ralf91450 karma

Have you ever used any of your more military abilities while being a civilian?

MarkRenton93131 karma

As I said, I can dig well, lol. But no, I didn’t kill anyone in civilian life, didn’t crawl in the mud and didn’t calculate the distance to the nearest store.

Tavalax42 karma

how is food in special forces ?

MarkRenton9396 karma

As elsewhere in the military, we do not have special food.

granlurken40 karma

Favorite dish?

MarkRenton93183 karma

Steak medium rare.

LowEloTrashcrying40 karma

Thoughts on communism?

MarkRenton93225 karma

A great idea of universal equality, which has turned into a totalitarian regime, because in practice this is impossible.


Did your Brother and his wife ever reconcile? Is your niece OK?

MarkRenton9395 karma

They get divorced, and my niece feels all this on herself. She's not okay, but I try to support her.

Ghostspider198936 karma

What's the hardest thing physically you experienced while serving?

How has your experienced affected your daily life back home?

MarkRenton93117 karma

Running, we were constantly running. And I ran uphill in full uniform, in body armor, a helmet and with weapons. And I hate that. Someone probably thinks I should describe some shit that I hunted polar bears in the Arctic with a knife, but no, the worst thing was running. Well, I constantly drank and stuck in all sorts of shit.

moneycomet33 karma

What other Special Forces unit impressed you?

MarkRenton9371 karma

I watched a documentary about SEALs, it really impressed me.

rheetkd33 karma

Have you ever trained or done ops with anyone from the New Zealand SAS?

MarkRenton9346 karma

No, never.

keatches29 karma

how many people you killed , did it change you ?

MarkRenton93166 karma

I have 63 confirmed eliminated targets. Yes, I have killed so many people that no paradise in this world will accept me.

Mymarathon29 karma

How much do you get paid. Do you get a pension now? Do you have to work?

MarkRenton9371 karma

I earned $ 300,000 for my service, but I received compensation for injuries. Yes, I have a veteran pension, $ 50 a month, lol. And yes, I have to work.

a_unique_usernane11 karma

300k$ for the whole service is not much, right? Neither is 50$ pm pension. Do you feel you’re adequately compensated for the risks?

Since you can also die. Does the family or next of kin get life insurance if someone goes KIA?

MarkRenton9314 karma

I did not fight for money. Yes, your family will receive about 50 thousand dollars if you die on a mission.

BearBong29 karma

I once heard a podcast from a Putin biographer who said Putin doesn't feel the Cold War ever ended. Instead went into a frozen moment, and that now he's reigniting the war w disinformation and digital war. Does it feel like the US is your enemy? Also, how skeptical are typical Russians of the news and media in the country?

MarkRenton93125 karma

I do not consider the United States as our enemy, we are the same country with a large army and nuclear weapons that interferes in the policies of other countries. Many people do not believe the Russian media, we understand that we are often deceived.

xFuimus27 karma

Was becoming a soldier worth it?

MarkRenton9359 karma

no, i don't think so.

xFuimus11 karma

Well at least you were able to achieve your goal regardless of how it ended up. Now that you are a free man what are your ambitions? Thanks for your time and honesty.

MarkRenton9341 karma

Oh, I need Ferrari, Tesla shares, and the ability to fly into space. but I think you just need to stop drinking first, lol.

RockEagle0426 karma

Have you ever been shot? If you have what did it feel like?

MarkRenton9386 karma

I was injured by a splinter in the shoulder after hitting an RPG in our armored personnel carrier. Also, my body armor melted to my shoulder, I got a few fragments in my hands, got a shell shock. It wasn’t too great, I can’t hear anything, but I didn’t feel pain until I took off my body armor with my skin. We didn’t have painkillers with us, so I had to endure to the base. Then I went to the hospital, and then home. It hurt, yes, but I could endure it.

NotAKneeler21 karma

Did anyone from your team die in that attack? I always find it amazing that armored personnel carriers can withstand an RPG blast.

MarkRenton9337 karma

No, we all survived.

Ztealth25 karma

From a Russian soldiers perspective what are your view and the views of your fellow soldiers on the US military. Is there any thought on a “what if” scenario of actual war with the US?

MarkRenton9370 karma

We respect them, they are the same soldiers as we are. I hope that we will never have to fight against each other.

Bagellman23 karma

What is your most prized memory from your time serving?

MarkRenton9368 karma

Campfire gatherings with my colleagues, I really appreciate these guys.

figureforty822 karma

I’ve always read about spec ops. Never met anyone or know anyone that has been in spec ops. And probably for security reasons. My question is are you legally considered a lethal weapon? Can you really sleep a man with the flick of your wrist? And is training as crazy as it sounds on the internet?

These are serious questions that I’m not expecting the answer to. But a bonus if they are.

MarkRenton9385 karma

On the Internet, everything is too exaggerated, I am not Rambo, I can not fight alone against an entire army. But we have a very good preparation. I can knock out a person with one punch, but this is only because I am a master of sports in boxing.

AlabamaSteamroller22 karma

Other than yourself what country has the most elite special forces that you have come across?

MarkRenton9346 karma

I only encountered Belarusian special forces and the Egyptian armed forces. We all know that US special forces are very good.

BlackIsTheSoul21 karma

Do you have ringing ears/tinnitus/hearing loss from gunfire? If so are you coping okay?

MarkRenton9337 karma

I have problems hearing my right ear after a concussion, but I can still hear well. the sounds of shooting are always stunning, but I'm used to it.

probably_not_a_shark20 karma

In most people's eyes, your career is seen as extremely badass. So from you perspective, is there any other career that you would say the same about?

MarkRenton9336 karma

Career of all my colleagues. There are some of them who participated in so many wars and operations that it’s hard for me to count.

homelikepants4519 karma

How it feel when you saved someone's life? And how do you guys cope with the death of your friends who might have died in front of you how do you guys just pull yourself together?

MarkRenton9353 karma

I don’t think I saved someone’s life. But yes, I was losing friends. It's crap, but you have to stay strong in those conditions, you can grieve at home, not in war. This means being a soldier - staying strong even in such situations.

vaish784819 karma

Did you ever take part in the Great Patriotic War anniversary parades ??

MarkRenton9345 karma

No, we can’t participate in parades, show our faces during the service, reveal our military affiliation. We are even awarded separately.

TheSanityInspector16 karma

Is there any truth to the rumor from the 1980s that Soviet special forces entered Alaska a few times, and once encountered the Alaska National Guard?

MarkRenton9330 karma

I do not know anything about this, but it may be true.

CypherEntrix16 karma

Have you ever used AS Val or VSS? Or know anything about these weapons?

MarkRenton9333 karma

Yes, I shot from this sniper rifle when I was undergoing sniper training.

vaish784816 karma

Were you ever deployed to overseas for any missions or military exercises ???

MarkRenton9337 karma

Yes, I spent more than half of my service in deployment.

Satisfied_I_Wander15 karma

What does your country do for veterans upon returning home?

Do you get benefits such as schooling, and how is the overall feeling in the government toward quality veteran care? Thank you!!

MarkRenton9337 karma

We have many benefits, I don’t pay taxes for a car, I can travel by public transport for free, I have advantages when starting a university, and I have my veteran pension, although it is insignificant. But no, I don’t think that is enough.

Blutundkrieg_14 karma

What was the routine when you first joined? What kind of equipment you were issued, how were the uniforms, what you learned, how was the food... how were your mates? Did anyone get bullied(i mean in a harsh way like beaten up not just being called names).. what was hardest psychologically? What improvements you think government should have made for its army and forces back then?

MarkRenton9327 karma

Most of the time in the army is a routine. You stand in a formation, walk in a formation, then you sit in class, walk in a formation, exercise physically, walk in a formation, clean your weapon and walk in a formation. Our uniform was different from the combined arms, you can look for a description, I already wrote about it. The food is the same as in the other military. My comrades are real brothers, I will give my life for any of them. Yes, we had fights and hazing, this is normal in the Russian military. It is difficult to be deployed for a long time, and then it is even more difficult to return home. I think that our military is moving in the right direction, this should be completely contractual.

Joppe8413 karma

Have you in operations worked together with armed forces from other nations you didn't expect to work together with when you enlisted? If so, which countries?

MarkRenton9319 karma

If you mean military operations, not military exercises, then I interacted only with the Syrian state army.

RobertMuldoon133713 karma

Do you like music?

MarkRenton9327 karma

Yeah, for sure.

Bektus12 karma

Are you afraid of reprecussions because of what you write here? I've seen you type out critical (towards the military/government) answers and have also seen news reports of even average people dissapearing in russia for voicing critique for various things.

MarkRenton9364 karma

I'm not afraid, there was too much fear in my life, I'm used to it. All these government agents can kiss my ass.

Hardstyler111 karma

What's the most distgusting thing you have seen in your time of service?

MarkRenton9362 karma

Teenagers who were recruited by terrorists.

Fyooree9 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA.

Do you ever play military style first person shooter video games, like Call of Duty or Battlefield? If yes, what do you think about how they represent war, violence, gore? If not, what do you think about such games in general, can they be used to make young people more interested in joining the army, almost like a recruitment tool, or is it just another form of entertainment, more or less harmless like so many other video games?

MarkRenton9347 karma

I do not play shooters after my service, the last Call of Duty, in which I play MW3. these are just games. I do not know a single person of a mentally healthy person who would go to kill people after a video game.

Mega50108 karma

Have you ever been a part of or witness to anything paranormal or supernatural that you cannot explain?

MarkRenton9343 karma

I saw a whole bunch of Syrian soldiers who suddenly disappeared when the attack started - and we had to fight back on our own. it was real teleportation magic.

AnarkistiV8 karma

How does your service time show in your everyday-life ?

MarkRenton9344 karma

PTSD, alcoholism, drugs, drunk driving, treatment by a psychiatrist.

AnarkistiV10 karma

How u doing right now? has the PTSD gone better with time or worse?

MarkRenton9317 karma

It's better now, but i still have some problems.

butterfingernails7 karma

Whats the most paranormal thing you've experienced in the field?

MarkRenton9359 karma

When a whole platoon of soldiers runs to the toilet after spoiled food.

Fantablack1837 karma

How long were you in special forces? Were you a Spetsnaz or another branch of the Russian Special Forces? What places were you deployed to?

MarkRenton9316 karma

5 years. I cannot disclose in which particular troops I served. I was in deployment in Syria and in several deployments in the North Caucasus.

knowswhatimsaying6 karma

More of a question about Russian sentiment in general,

But in a lot of American video games (CoD being the big offender) The Russians are typically the bad guys. How do you feel about that?

MarkRenton9325 karma

In many Russian films, Americans are bad guys, it's just an echo of the Cold War.

JesusWasAUnicorn6 karma

Do you play Mortal Kombat? If so, Scorpion or Sub-Zero?

MarkRenton9311 karma

Scorpion, I only know his tricks.

Cdbull6 karma

I loved your first AMA, thanks for doing another one! What were your fellow soldiers from Russia like? Any special banter, inside jokes about other countries?

MarkRenton9314 karma

Everyone has nicknames, and everyone is constantly joked, this is normal in the army. And we have really black humor, I'm sorry, we are bad guys, lol.

kassiny5 karma

Do you think Russian mandatory service (I know they don't participate in real military, but still) should be cancelled? What's your opinion on masculinity, do you think it's bad or good, should all men be trained?

MarkRenton9327 karma

I think that in modern conditions we need a contract army, the training is too complicated, we need real professionals. I do not think that every man should go to the military, what's the use of it? Any scientist has done much more for this world than me.

Chckyrsix5 karma

How often do you encounter other tier 0 "operators" at bars? Do you see a lot fakes out there?

MarkRenton9312 karma

I met such people in civilian life, I just laugh at it. I don’t have much negative for them, because they themselves know that they are fakes.

badgerseattadpoles5 karma

Is Mark Renton your favourite Trainspotting character? I liked Begbie, very unpredictable.

MarkRenton938 karma

Yes, he is my favourite.

_NotMitetechno_3 karma

Did you enjoy killing anyone, like was any of it legitimetly fun or was all it something done from hatred or anger or perhaps did you hate killing?

MarkRenton9327 karma

I took this neutral, while I was a soldier, the problems started after. I got my PTSD and he tells me that I did a lot of the wrong things.

Norgeroff2 karma

What color is your toothbrush?

MarkRenton932 karma


Malzahoe-32 karma

I'm not here to say you're real or fake because it doesn't matter. But you're putting in an awful lot of effort to convince people you're real which is coming across as desperate.

So here's my question, why would you go to the effort of getting a job which by your own admission you can't legally prove you do. Only to try and boast about it on Reddit.

And secondly why do think people would be interested in knowing when other countries have numerous, and arguably superior, ex SF members who provide incontrovertible proof of their service, answer questions, do talk shows, and distinctly aren't spending their free time using weak evidence and making time consuming videos trying to convince strangers on Reddit

MarkRenton9313 karma

I didn’t care much that people think that I’m not real. It hurt my friend, he made a video, I shared it on reddit. I just thanked him for his efforts. I am a soldier, I know it myself, and I have no need to prove it to anyone else. Well, I’m a Russian guy who decided to create a story on a forum where most people are Americans, while I found a military uniform, a real rifle, real medals and certificates for them, a veteran ID, AMC, drove an armored personnel carrier and shot a video to get 25 thousand likes on reddit, do you want to say that?